Almost 2,000 fentanyl pills were taken off Edmonton streets recently in a $500,000 drug bust by Alberta Law Enforcement Response Teams.
Police said the bust marks the first time ALERT has seized the deadly drug in Edmonton.
The dangerous narcotic, said to be 15 times more powerful than heroin, was linked to 120 deaths in Alberta last year.
In the most recent bust, search warrants were executed on Feb. 3 and on March 18 at four Edmonton homes and at a rural property in Redwater, Alta.
The drugs seized had a estimated street value $545,000, and included:
1,841 fentanyl pills;
2.6 kilograms of cocaine;
1 kilogram of methamphetamine;
468 grams of MDMA;
$91,000 in cash from the proceeds of crime.
The fentanyl was manufactured to resemble oxycontin, police said. The value of the fentanyl alone was pegged at $147,280.
Five people have been arrested and face at least 30 drug-related criminal charges.
ALERT is an integrated team consisting of Edmonton police and RCMP.
Fentanyl is a synthetic opioid painkiller that comes in pills or powder and is often referred to as “greenies” on the street.
Police have seized record amounts of fentanyl in communities across Alberta in the past year, including 10,000 tablets in Grande Prairie last fall and 60,000 tablets west of Calgary in November.
Charges were laid recently after two fatal fentanyl overdoses on the Blood reserve in southern Alberta. Three residents of the reserve have been charged with trafficking and criminal negligence causing death.